“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”
– Camille Pissarro
Prairie Style File turns five next month and I’ve been doing a little reflecting. In 2012, I was a burned out ad exec who was struggling to find balance. I wanted more travel, more creativity and more freedom in my life. I wanted to find a way to quiet my turbo charged, Type A brain and I needed to find a way to slow down. My doctor told me in increasingly confrontational tones that even though I felt fine, my stress levels were so incredibly, consistently high that they were becoming a health risk.
So I started this website in my (completely non-existent) spare time that spring as a place to muse about the places I loved, to blow off steam and to connect with other people who wanted to dive into beautiful, largely undiscovered places. It turned into part time work when the predicted health crisis came and I hurled myself out of sales like someone throwing herself off of a fast moving train.
It blossomed into full time work when the baby I never thought I’d have arrived a year later. Committing myself to creating, to doing what I really wanted to do sparked surprises I never saw coming, including a book deal and collaborations I never could have imagined.
This site has evolved from a fashion, art and design focused blog into something more concerned with exploring the unique places in the upper Midwest and the prairie provinces of Canada and finding ways to squeeze more joy and purpose out of life, both at home and when traveling to somewhere new. I truly believe that every place, even the smallest and most humble, has a story to tell. The quote at the top of the post is one that I live by.
So what’s next for Prairie Style File? Look for more tips for exploring and appreciating the world around you, both on your travels and close to home. I’ll also be exploring new spots in the upper Midwest and the prairie provinces of Canada, with trips planned for Illinois, Manitoba and Saskatchewan (and in the works for South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin). My book tour for my North Dakota beer book (due out in July 2017) will take me into every corner of North Dakota. The website will continue to be tweaked and adjusted until it’s what I need it to be. And I’m working on new collaborations with #PrairiePeople around the region.
But that’s just what I want to do. This site is equally about you, and the stories you want to learn more about. I get my best tips from readers and I’d love your advice for the next five years of Prairie Style File.
I’ve included a few questions to get you thinking about what you’d like to see on this site and how you’d like to interact with me and the Prairie Style File community. Feel free to comment below, reach out to me on social media or get in touch however you’d like. (We’re also having a Twitter chat about the first six questions on Monday, April 24 at 8 p.m. CST if you’d like to join us!)
Question 1: What questions has this blog helped you answer?
Question 2: What’s your favorite kind of story to read about on prairiestylefile.com and why?
Question 3: Where have you traveled that you think other readers should know about?
Question 4: What would you like me to show you in the future? This can be a place, travel tips, vacation stories — anything!
Question 5: How do you interact with the #PrairiePeople community now and how can I increase opportunities for readers to get to know each other?
Question 6: What’s your favorite secret or locals’ only spot that nobody’s heard of yet? Why is it great?
Question 7: How do you connect with Prairie Style File? (Twitter, Facebook, subscription etc.) How can I make this more convenience for you in the future?
Question 8: What haven’t I asked you about that you’d like to add?
Thank you for reading. Your support has allowed me to make my dream a reality and changed my life. Here’s to the next five years!
You won’t miss a single post when you subscribe to Prairie Style File. Just look for the “Follow Prairie Style File” sign-up on the right side of the homepage or the bottom of the screen if you’re on a mobile device. Or follow Prairie Style File on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on Snapchat as PrairieStylFile.
Tag your pics and travel tips #PrairiePeople and #PrairiePlaces on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. You could inspire an upcoming post on Prairie Style File. Prairie Style File is curated by Alicia Underlee Nelson. All rights reserved.